Woman’s cancer destroyed by measles vaccine in landmark Mayo Clinic trial

Measles-virus-cancer-vaccineChemotherapy and two stem cell transplants weren’t enough to stop the late stages of blood cancer from spreading to Stacy Erholtz’s bone marrow and sprouting tumors throughout her body.

The 50-year-old Minnesota mom was running out of options when she decided to take part in an experimental Mayo Clinic trial where doctors injected a massive dose of the measles virus – enough to inoculate 10 million people – into her body.

In the weeks that followed, Erholtz’s tumors began to shrink. Researchers announced this week that the one supercharged measles injection appears to have completely cleared the disease from her body.

Erholtz was one of two patients in the landmark trial to test the efficacy of virotherapy, or “destroying cancer with a virus that infects and kills cancer cells but spares normal tissues,” according to a statement released Wednesday.

While researchers are optimistic, larger trials are necessary to confirm the “measles blitzkrieg” study, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune, especially considering the other patient in the trial did not respond as well to the experimental treatment.

The Mayo Clinic hopes to launch the next trial phase by September.

By: Alex McDaniel


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